History Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog – History (part 4): why it can’t happen again

Then, in the spring of 1991, Soundgarden entered the studio to begin recording what would become the legendary Badmotorfinger. Pearl Jam were in the studio around the same time, recording their debut album, Ten (equally legendary, of course). The albums were released, the respective bands exploded, and suddenly the media and the fans were desperately hungry for more (pardon the pun). A&M saw the opportunity and struck while the iron was hot, rereleasing and actively promoting Temple Of The Dog to an audience who didn’t and couldn’t possibly understand the project’s spirit and origins. New fans couldn’t understand why Eddie was relegated to the shadows in the “Hunger Strike” video, or why he didn’t sing on more of the songs. Others were angry at the attention Eddie seemed to be receiving, and didn’t understand that he’d been invited to join the project, not that he forced his way in, or was put there by the manipulations of the record company.

Despite the confusion, there were two more semi-reunions for Temple Of The Dog, one in October 1991, at the Foundations Forum showcase (which Pearl Jam and Soundgarden both attended), and another at the last Lollapalooza show of the ’92 tour. The first was planned, the second one purely organic, as a result of extremely high energy at the end of an amazing tour. Additionally, rumors flew thick and heavy that there would be another reunion at the end of the 1996 Lollapalooza, and apparently the management of both Pearl Jam and Soundgarden are continually inundated with offers and requests for charity appearances and the like. There’s also regular unattributed reports of a second Temple album.

What none of these people understand, and as much as I, or you, or any of us, would kill to see these two bands combine forces again, is the fact that Temple Of The Dog grew out of love, and emotion, and grief, and that it just can’t happen again. None of us can personally understand what Chris, Stone and Jeff went through at the loss of their friend, and it’s wrong for us to ask them to turn it on and off and treat it as a commodity. Instead, what we can and should do is enjoy, appreciate and respect the fact that they chose to share their grief with us in the best way they knew how: making music.

Continue reading: History of Temple of the Dog – Part 5, The aftermath.

Back to History of Temple of the Dog – Index.